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FMI CONNECT: Sharing Shopper Opportunities

Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the Food Marketing Institute, shared insights on the impact the shifting shopper paradigm is having on the purchasing behavior of well over half of U.S. shoppers, Tuesday during the closing session of the first day of the FMI Connect expo in Chicago.

“It’s a brave new world of grocery shoppers with nearly everyone getting in on the act of shopping for food,” Sarasin said in unveiling the 2016 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends analysis.

“In this year’s Trends, we have dug deeper into this ‘shared shopper’ phenomenon to explore the motivations, methods, and a bit of the madness, behind it,” she said. “Today, 85 percent of the U.S. population reports it shares in at least half the grocery shopping for the household, and there is great diversity in the way these individuals divide food shopping responsibilities.  It’s time to expand our shopper vocabulary.”

U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2016 offered additional vernacular to the grocery merchandiser dialect, distinguishing three types of shoppers:

Single Shoppers

About two of every 10 customers are single shoppers, making the food purchases for his or her single household.  Another two of 10 are sole shoppers, which means they are either single parents shopping for their family or are part of the slim minority of multi-adult households with only one person shouldering the grocery shopping responsibility. 


Almost six of 10 shoppers – the majority of customers in the aisles – are co-shoppers, representing a part of their household’s food shopping team.  

Shared Shoppers

Further breaking down this co-shopping group, close to half of them could be designated shared shoppers, meaning they have an intentional 50/50 split in the food purchasing duties, with some literally choosing to shop together, while others opt to equally divide the responsibilities in the way that works for them.

In addition to specific insights around these new shopper types, the analysis explores why supermarkets are well positioned within their customers’ circle of trust when it comes to food safety and supporting their efforts to achieve health and wellness in their lives.

Sarasin commented on the data, suggesting another high rating for consumer confidence: “While we can take satisfaction in this  level of confidence with our shoppers, those in our store responsible for food safety know this trust is not easily won and is rather fragile. And they know the many behind-the-scenes protocols, cleanings and procedures that must be religiously upheld to ensure we deserve the level of trust our shoppers place in us. The ability to sustain that level of trust is something our industry should be proud of; it is a tremendous accomplishment.”

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